Ripe or not?

Growing up my dad had all these tricks on how to tell if fruit was ripe....or not.  I took this knowledge for granted, until last week when a friend was shocked to learn these "secrets"!  She said "this is your next blog".  And so it is. Next time you are at the grocery store or want to dig into a  fruit remember these tips for fruit testing: Avocado Squeeze test is the best! You want it to have a little give, but not too much. If you want to slow down the  ripening process, place it in the fridge.

Watermelon Check under the melon, if it has a yellow or light bottom, it should be ripe. My dad would also put a watermelon to his ear and give it a little knock. If it gives you a hallow sound back, its ripe! If it doesn't give you that hollow sound, try another.

Papaya Take a big whiff. If it has a strong papaya smell, it's ripe! No smell, not ready.

Pineapple If you don’t plan to use a fresh pineapple right away, store it in your refrigerator. It will keep better and longer. The body should be pretty firm, not TOO firm. Avoid soft pineapples, or ones with soft spots. Smell at the base of the pineapple, should have a light pineapple fragrant. A friend told me that if the diamonds on the skin are all the same size from top to bottom then it is ripe!

Mango Mangos ripen best at room temperature. I don't pay much attention to the skin color of a mango because they come in all shades of red, orange, green and yellow. Pay attention to the feel. A little give, yet still firm.

Kiwi Again all about the touch. It should give a little when you squeeze it. But if the top (where the stem is) is too soft, it is over ripe. And for the stubborn fruit that will not ripen:  Stick it in a brown bag. Why this works: as a fruit ripens it releases a natural hormone called ethylene. The paper bag traps this gas close to the fruit, causing it to ripen more quickly. But check on your fruit once a day. It will ripen fast!

Do you have any other fruit tricks?

Posted on July 7, 2011 and filed under food.